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Tradition and Modernity in Cameroon: The Confrontation between Social Demand and Biomedical Logics of Health Services

Gervais Beninguisse and Vincent De Brouwere
African Journal of Reproductive Health / La Revue Africaine de la Santé Reproductive
Vol. 8, No. 3 (Dec., 2004), pp. 152-175
DOI: 10.2307/3583401
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3583401
Page Count: 24
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Tradition and Modernity in Cameroon: The Confrontation between Social Demand and Biomedical Logics of Health Services
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Abstract

This paper examines the cultural acceptability of biomedical obstetrical services and care across an anthropological literature review and a qualitative survey carried out in North Cameroon. The results reveal that cultural acceptability of biomedical services is impaired by a series of requirements such as a too early first prenatal visit; use in common of delivery rooms, wards and obstetrical tools; the absence of traditional healing like massage after delivery; refusal to hand over the placenta and umbilical cord to the family; and hindering the presence of family members during delivery. These evidences support a transition from normative medical system to an efficient and flexible medical system related to the expectations of the population established with its participation. This is commonly called patient-centred care. /// Cet article étudie l'acceptabilité culturelle des services et des obstétriques biomédicaux à travers l'analyse littéraire anthropologique et une enquête qualitative menées au nord du Cameroun. Les résultats montrent que l'acceptabilité culturelle des services biomédicaux est entravée par une série d'exigences telle une première visite prénatale précoce, l'emploi en commun des salles d'accouchement, des salles d'hôpital et d'outils obstétriques, l'absence du traitement traditionnel comme le massage après l'accouchement; le refus de rendre la placenta et le cordon ombilical à la famille; et entravant la présence des membres de famille pendant l'accouchement. Ces évidences appuient une transition depuis un système médical normatif à un système médical efficace et flexible, ayant un rapport avec l'attente de la population établie avec sa participation. On appelle ceci communément le soin centré sur la patiente.

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